This story came out just before the Emmys, but I think it’s worth discussing a few days late because it speaks to one of the biggest criticisms of Duchess Kate: that she is rarely engaged in anything other than being a celebrity, meeting celebrities and dressing up for galas. It’s incredibly rare to hear stories about Kate spending hours upon hours at a charity. In fact, I can only think of one time in three years where Kate stayed longer at a charity than she was scheduled, and we have lots of evidence that Kate skips out of charitable work early, or completely half-asses it on those rare occasions when she is there. Note: we have no idea how much time she spends with her “private meetings” (that are somehow counted towards her annual totals). But as the Downton Abbey cast revealed at the pre-Emmy BAFTA party, Kate has all the time in the world to spend with celebrities and actors:
Kate Middleton may have been “very pregnant” when she visited the set of Downton Abbey in March, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t give the cast and crew her undivided attention.
“We weren’t sure what to expect really,” Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith, told me yesterday at BAFTA-LA’s pre-Emmys Tea Party at the SLS Hotel. “We all got quite shy and she was sort of leading the conversation. It was lovely. She’s so normal. I know everyone says that but she really does try to make everyone feel at ease. We all lost our minds. We started talking to her about the catering—I’m sure things she found really boring but we all sort of lost it because we were panicked and star struck. It was one of those weird ones.”
Lesley Nicol, who plays Mrs. Patmore, said she chatted with Middleton about “chocolate.”
Middleton also “talked about the show,” said Jim Carter, who plays Mr. Carson. “She’s a big fan of the show. I don’t think she’d been on a film set before or a TV set so she was intrigued by how different it looked on the screen and in reality. She overstayed. She stayed long. She was having such a good time.”
I don’t begrudge Kate having a good time on the set of her favorite show. I would love to take a tour of Highclere Castle and spend time chatting with Michelle Dockery, Mrs. Patmore and Hugh Bonneville. It would be incredibly cool. But I wouldn’t expect that visit to “count” as “work,” like I was doing them a favor for raising awareness of a completely forgotten illness or issue. I certainly wouldn’t take a tour of the castle in lieu of actual charitable work, for goodness sake.
Photos courtesy of WENN.